Monday, September 15, 2014

A Tisket

It’s Monday already.  I’m tempted to tell you about my weekend and call it an essay but that would be cheating, the tag, and promise, is for original fiction and while I may occasionally exaggerate in my reports, they are, at heart, true.

My stories are not.

A Tisket
by Jon Stark
September 2014

Donovan figured this was pretty much it.  If he didn’t say something now, he never would.  They weren’t at his father’s house, he hadn’t been there since he’d left, so the timing now was important.  He could have gone over to the house but that would have meant a special trip.  He could have called, but some things need to be said eye to eye.

Donovan had a list of those things.

He stood in the back of the room and watched – there was always a throng around his father.  Always had been.  The man had a knack for claiming center stage.  Everything was always about him.  Donovan thought about the first item on his list.  Fishing.

Then he wondered if maybe it would be better to start with Mel which got him thinking about Donnie, jr.  What kind of man pretends he doesn’t have a grandson?  That was it.  Actually, no.  He’d close with Donnie.

Mel put her hand on his shoulder.  “You don’t have to do this, Baby.”  He nodded.  She nodded.  They looked over to where the crowd had thinned, a break in the press of courtiers just wanting to be near him.  He sighed.  She squeezed his hand.  “I’ll be right here.”  He nodded again.

There was probably something to the set of his jaw because when Donovan reached his father everyone else scurried off.  It was the two of them.  Alone together for the first time in decades.  Donovan steeled himself.

He cleared his throat then met his father’s unfeeling gaze.  Donovan faltered.  His father waited.  He started and it came out as a squeak.  He braced for his father’s laughter, ridicule, a tirade about his failure to live up to the family name.  But his father remained still, patient, encouraging him.

“You never took me fishing,” began Donovan.  He didn’t make it to Donnie.  Mel came to him after a while, led him to a chair.

“Do you want to go home?”  She held him as he convulsed against her.  “We can go home.”

He pushed away.  “No,” he said, looking at the casket.  “I need to finish this.”

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